North American drywood termites are specific to the southern strip of the United States, as well as Hawaii. Unfortunately for us, that means they can be found throughout all of Florida. Unlike their cousins, the subterranean termite, drywood termites can survive without soil contact. This means that they can eat the wood in building foundations, as well as your wood furniture and knickknacks.
It also means that they will have no problem hitching a ride in your wood armoire and traveling with you when you move.
Signs of drywood termite infestation
Have you noticed an increase in flying insects that are attracted to your lights or the glow of your smart phone screen? You may be looking at a swarming termite in mating season. They come out during the evening, often in late spring and summer. Take a closer look at your window sills or any spider webs you can find for evidence of little wings.
Sawdust or swarming infestation? – drywood termite frass
You may mistake it for a pile of sand brought in from your last day at the beach, but distinguishing termite frass from dirt can help you detect a drywood termite infestation in its early stages. Frass are tiny pellets with six concave surfaces with rounded ends that termites expel as they make their way through your walls and furniture.
Frass is an early sign of infestation. If you suspect that random pile of sawdust might be a sign of drywood termites call your pest control specialists as soon as possible.
Blisters on the surface of your walls or ceilings are often a sign of an advanced drywood termite infestation. Tap on your wood, if it sounds hollow that is a sign that tunnels drilled in your wood by termites have made your homes supporting structures hollow.
Appetite for destruction
It’s not just a classic hard rock album, it’s also what drywood termites bring to the wooden table. An infestation begins when a male and female termite enter the wood through a crack or crevice. They then seal the entrance and excavate a chamber for the female to lay eggs. The nymphs hatch and the destruction begins. Termites eat across the wood grain, destroying both hard and soft wood. They excavate chambers connected by tunnels. Waste is either pushed out of small hole they bore (frass) or stored in unused chambers.
Swarming termites are often seen in Florida during the spring and summer months. These are termites in mating, distinguished from flying ants by their thick waists and straight antenna. Holes are dug through the wood to allow the termites to leave their home, and once mating season completes the holes are closed up.
Drywood Termite Pest Control Methods
- Fumigation of the entire structure
- Insecticide spot treatment
- Liquid nitrogen
- Spot heat